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Digital Camera?


My old Cannon that I have used for years to photograph my work has kicked
the bucket. I was reading Charles Lewton-Brains’ "Small Scale Photography"
and am ready to purchase a new camera. What do you all recommend? Charles,
are you still recommending the same type of camera as you were when you
wrote this?

Mark P.

Hello Mark:

I use a sharp viewcam 8mm camcorder and capture the images with a
AIGOTCHA2. I’m still working on the lighting, but It works great for me.
See my pictures at

Michael Mathews Victoria,Texas USA

Charles, are you still recommending the same type of camera as
you were when you wrote this?

Hi Mark,
Yes, I still love my Nikon F2. There are plenty of other cameras that do a
good job. You need an SLR camera with built in light metering and I still
like a 50 mm macro lens though other options will work. At this point
slides are still useful and unless one has lots of bucks it is difficult
and time consuming to go fully digital. That will change in the future.
Unless you have a great (and expensive) digital camera you will not be
able to output to slides with the same quality (and cost) as traditional
slide films. For images on the web or a computer or a disc however digital
is already more or less there. Charles

Charles Lewton-Brain/Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

Metals info download web site:

Book and Video descriptions:

Gallery page at:

My suggestion is to buy a good quality 35 mm camera brand that makes a
very sharp macro lens in the 50-105 mm range. While I prefer Nikon, Canon,
Minalta, and several other brands are fine. Several features that I cannot
live without are: the ability to set the camera manually, a motor driven
film advance, an architectural grid viewing screen and manual focusing.
The cameras that do this can be purchased new or used, but are the
workhorse cameras of professional photographers because of these features.
A stop down button that allows you to preview your shot at the actual
aperture of the lens is a handy feature.

Auto focus is a nearly useless feature for macro photography. At small
apertures on small objects you need to focus 1/3 of the way into the piece
to get the best image. A motor drive allows you to advance the film
without disturbing the setup, and concentrate on other aspects of the
photography. A grid screen is useful in lining up shots. Other than the
tiny film advance motors, and lighter faster (larger aperture) macro
lenses, any high end 35mm camera made in the last 20+ years will work
well. My personal choice is a Nikon N90 and both the 60 and 105
micro-nikkor lenses. I use the body set to manual mode and manual focus,
and a 1/250 shutter speed with a pair of strobe heads in soft boxes.

Charles’s Small Scale Photography is an excellent source of
and has helped refine the photography set up in our studio.

Richard D. Hamilton
A goldsmith on Martha’s Vineyard
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